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Ian Callum, one of the most influential designers in the automotive industry,just announced his retirement from Jaguar Land Rover after serving as Design Director for the past 20 years. Callum says he is leaving to "explore other design projects" but will still act as a consultant for JLR, which should keep the cars looking fabulous.
We want to wish Callum the best of luck in his future endeavors while also looking back at some of the prettiest designs he ever penned. Before working for Jaguar, Callum designed cars for Ford and a company called TWR Design, where he designed numerous cars for Aston Martin, Volvo, and Nissan.
We wanted to include the Ford Puma on this list because it shows Callum was capable of designing affordable cars in addition to high-priced exotics. The Puma was never sold in the United States but it was essentially a sportier version of the Fiesta built from 1997 to 2002. Ford plans to revive the Puma name as a crossover, which should borrow some of its styling elements from the futuristic original car. During his time at Ford, Callum also designed the Escort Cosworth and RS200.
After leaving Ford, Callum went to work for TWR Design. Here he took on projects from several automakers including Volvo, a company known for building safe vehicles that mostly looked boring. Callum changed that with the C70 Coupe, one of Volvo's prettiest cars of all time.
Callum also designed one of the coolest Nissan models ever built, the R390. Only one road-going R390 was produced and it is currently owned by Nissan. A racing version of the car competed in the GT1 class and the 3.5-liter was eventually modified and turned into the V8 McLaren uses today.
The Aston Martin DB7 may be Callum's crowning achievement as a designer. Many people consider the DB7 to be the prettiest Aston ever created and the design went on to shape the company's design language for the next two decades. Callum won the Jim Clark Memorial Award for the DB7 and later went on to design the Vanquish.
After helping Aston Martin find its groove, Callum went on to guide Jaguar away from its aging design language. This began with the XK in 2006, which borrowed heavily from the DB9 that Callum had helped design. The XK looked so good, in fact, it didn't look out of date when it exited production in 2014.
We didn't think Jaguar could follow up the XK with a better-looking sports car, but then Callum blew us all away with the F-Type. Building a spiritual successor to the E-Type which Enzo Ferrari called the prettiest car he'd ever seen couldn't have been an easy task but Callum nailed it with the F-Type.
Most of Callum's excellent design concepts ended up reaching production but the Jaguar C-X75 never saw the light of day. This mid-engine sports car was used in the James Bond film Spectre, but it sadly never reached production. There are some rumors that the F-Type's successor could go mid-engined, so perhaps this amazing car isn't dead just yet.